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Book Review 8

Page history last edited by caloy 15 years, 11 months ago



The Moral Responsibilities of Business


                    We viewed the institution of business as a desirable way of improving economic well being for most people. We presented a theory that opted for a profit maximization view constrained by justice, and respect for individual rights that extended to all the districts of business that have a stake in the goings-on of business. We saw that the respect for individual rights included at least the ruling that prohibited business from doing harm to its various districts.

                   We still need to look at the various practices of business, to see which of them are acceptable. We need to show why corporations should “be fair” by honouring others moral rights. We need to ask how the demands of justice and the avoidance of harm are to carried our with respect to business’s customers, employees, stockholders, fellow businesses, etc.


Morality in the Practices of Business


            We have examined the practices of business and shown that they require basic moral norms, such as fairness, and justice. These moral norms are presupposed by any social practice in general and by business practice in particular. Immanuel Kant’s ethical theory points out that the ground of these demands is the principle of consistency and the principle of respect for persons. We then looked at how these general rules could be applied to the practices of advertising and hiring


Moral Issues For Business Managers


            We have attempted to resolve specific moral issues. Rather, we have argued that the manager is bound by moral considerations, considerations of justice, fairness, and avoiding harm in dealing with separate stakeholders. We have shown that there seems to be a developing awareness of these responsibilities.

            Nevertheless, most companies still aren’t as enlightened as the basic drives for profit and “bottom line” concerns remain powerful motivators. Thus, a question arises. Even if the manager sees something as morally desirable, like paying employees more or not polluting, what would move the manager to do that if it didn’t enhance profits?

What in short, will help companies and managers to do the moral thing?

Reference: Business Ethics, Author/s: Norman E. Bowie and Ronald F. Duska





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